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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Polling: Today's Bottom Line On Sarah Palin

We've been mentioning Dan Quayle a lot. Why? From USA Today/Gallup:

There is also wide uncertainty about whether she's qualified to be president. In the poll, taken Friday, 39% say she is ready to serve as president if needed, 33% say she isn't and 29% have no opinion.

That's the lowest vote of confidence in a running mate since the elder George Bush chose then-Indiana senator Dan Quayle to join his ticket in 1988. In comparison, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden was seen as qualified by 57%-18% after Democrat Barack Obama chose him as a running mate last week.


Whatever their views on their qualifications, voters say neither Palin nor Biden will have much impact on their vote. Two of three registered voters, 67%, say putting Palin on the ticket won't affect their vote; 72% say that of Biden.

Of those who say the running mates will make a difference, 18% say Palin makes them more likely to vote for McCain, 11% less likely. That net-positive impact of 7 points is similar to Biden's: 14% said his pick made them more likely to vote for Obama, 7% less likely.

Was this supposed to make a play for Hillary voters?

Among Democratic women — including those who may be disappointed that New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton did not win the Democratic nomination — 9% say Palin makes them more likely to support McCain, 15% less likely.

Is that important?

As one McCain aide put it: "We either get Hillary's voters and we win, or we don't. It's not a mystery."

From Rasmussen:

Just 29% of voters say Palin is ready to be president if necessary, ten points below the 39% who said the same a week ago about Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a 36-year member of the Senate. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Republican voters say she is ready along with 32% of unaffiliated voters and 11% of Democrats.

Democrats already have begun to attack Palin for a lack of Washington experience even though the message of their party's presidential ticket is change. One of the reasons McCain clearly chose Palin is because she is the ultimate Washington outsider, even coming from the state on the continental United States that is furthest from the Nation's Capital. Joe Biden has been in the Senate since Palin was nine years old.

By the end of the Democratic National Convention, the number who said Biden was ready to be President grew by ten points to 49%. Again, it will be especially significant to see where Palin’s numbers are following the Republican National Convention.

Republicans like her, but so far she is a wash (btw, women are 34% less likely, 33% more likely to vote for McCain.)

In the new survey, 35% of voters say the selection of Palin makes them more likely to vote for McCain while 33% say they are less likely to do so. Most Republicans say they are more likely to vote for Palin and most Democrats say the opposite. As for voters not affiliated with either major party, 37% are more likely to vote for McCain and 28% less likely to do so. Those numbers are a bit more positive than initial reaction to Biden.

This story will continue to play out, but as for where we are now, Sarah Palin is not helping with women. These are quick polls, and it may well be this is a ceiling and not a floor as the scorn continues on a daily basis. The GOP convention looks like it's going to need to play defense as well as offense.

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